Thursday, 25 August 2022

Hajduk Drops Out of UEFA Europa Conference League After Play-off Defeat to Villarreal

August 25, 2022 - Hajduk has dropped out of the UEFA Europa Conference League on a 2-6 aggregate to Villarreal. The Split club lost 0:2 at Poljud on Thursday night. 

Hajduk and Villarreal met in the second leg of the Conference League play-off at a sold-out Poljud stadium on Thursday. In the first match, Villarreal won 4:2 in Valencia, meaning Hajduk needed to score three goals to have a chance. 

Villarreal is one of the best European teams and was certainly the favorite to move ahead. The Spanish club is last year's Champions League semi-finalist, and Europa League champions the season before that, knocking out Dinamo Zagreb on their way to the title.

Hajduk had met Spanish clubs five times so far in European competitions but failed to move past them. 

"It will be a difficult test because Villarreal likes to control the game and have possession of the ball. We have to be patient and focused for the whole 90 minutes and pay attention to small details," Hajduk coach Valdas Dambrauskas said before the match. 

"In that beautiful stadium, we expect a good atmosphere in which we will try to manage the match," said Villarreal coach Unai Emery. 

Lineups

HAJDUK: Kalinić - Mikanović, Awaziem, Elez, Melnjak - Grgić, Fossati - Sahiti, Krovinović, Biuk - Livaja

VILLARREAL: Reina - Kiko, Mandi, Cuenca, Pedraza - Chukwueze, Parejo, Coquelin, Baena - Lo Celso, Nicolas

Match report

Villarreal had their first attack in the 2nd minute, which went out for a goal kick. Melnjak played a hospital ball to a Villarreal player at the top of the box. Kalinic luckily saved the shot, but Hajduk fouled in the next play. A free-kick awarded to Villarreal found the head of Baena, who went over the post. 

It was a shaky first five minutes for Hajduk, who was playing nervously. 

A quick counter which started from Awaziem found Sahiti on the right and went out for Hajduk's first corner. The ball was played out by the Villarreal defense and sent back in by Sahiti, who found Livaja's head. Marko just missed near post. 

Another attack for Hajduk came in the 10th minute and Fossati managed to get a shot off which was blocked. 

Another shaky instance in the Hajduk defense came a minute later and was luckily cleared by Melnjak. 

Another brilliant attack by Hajduk in the 14th minute saw Livaja get a shot off which was deflected out for a corner. Krovinovic found Livaja again, whose one-touch shot went over the goal.  

Sahiti dribbled through the Villarreal defense in the next play and shot at the keeper. Livaja tried lobbing the keeper from the halfway line in the 16th minute.  And he hit another rocket that went just wide of the far post in the next play. 

Mikanovic was shown a yellow card in the 19th minute. 

Villarreal tried a quick counter in the 22nd minute but shot straight at Kalinic. Hajduk countered back and Biuk got a shot off which was deflected to Reina. 

Hajduk was hungry and had another corner in the 25th minute, followed by another after that. 

Villarreal started to possess the ball and tried to move into the box. Nicolas' fancy footwork couldn't move past Hajduk's defense. 

A Hajduk free kick in the 30th minute was played short to Biuk on the left. The young midfielder cut into the middle and fell for a foul, but the ref said to play on. Hajduk's next attack was called offside. 

A dangerous free kick for Villarreal in the 34th minute was taken in front of the corner spot. Luckily the ball went straight to Kalinic. 

But just a few minutes later, Pedraza had his chance, playing around Hajduk's defense with no one in the block. He shot far post into Kalinic's goal for 0:1 Villarreal. Hajduk's hope had dwindled. 

A Livaja free kick in the 41st minute was taken from about 30 meters out and went just wide of the post. The first half ended 0:1 for Villarreal. 

Villarreal made one sub to start the second half - Capoue went on for Coquelin. Hajduk did not make any changes. 

A dangerous chance for Villarreal came in the 47th minute, which was blocked by the Hajduk defense. A standout save by Kalinic in the 51st minute stopped Villarreal from going ahead by two goals. 

Another attack for Villarreal in the next minute went out for a corner. Hajduk managed to clear any dangerous plays and tried to calmly move the ball into Villarreal's half but could not get a shot off. 

In the next attack, Chukwueze's shot slipped through Kalinic's hands and into the goal for 0:2 Villarreal. Hajduk would now need 4 goals to bring the match to extra time. 

Villarreal made substitutions in the 58th minute - Moreno came on for Jackson and Morales for Lo Celso. 

Hajduk made their first subs in the 59th minute - Lovrencsics came on for Mikanovic and Mlakar for Sahiti. 

Fossati was subbed off for Vukovic in the 65th minute.  

Mlakar had a great chance to score a minute later but just missed the far post. 

Krovinovic was fouled right on the corner of the box in the 71st minute. The same player took the free kick, which went out for a goal kick. 

Hajduk had a free kick and a corner in the 75th minute without a chance for a goal. 

Pau Torres came on for Pedraza and Foyth for Kiko in the 79th minute. Colina came on for Melnjak and Simic for Elez in the same minute. 

There were no dangerous chances for either team in the final 10 minutes. The ref added 3 minutes of stoppage time, in which no one scored.

Hajduk has thus dropped out of the UEFA Europa Conference League. 

Post-match comments 

Villarreal coach Unai Emery

"We played against a team that is good today but also has a rich past. The atmosphere created by the fans was special, and we enjoyed it. I'm sorry when a team like Hajduk is left out of the European competition. With this kind of atmosphere and fans, it deserves to be in the European competition. I have to repeat that in the first game, we made several mistakes, and now we managed to improve some things that we did in the first game at a lower level. This is Europe; we have to be concentrated and satisfied with this kind of game."

Hajduk coach Valdas Dambrauskas

"I can't fault the players. We were ready and better than in the first game. The difference in class between us and Villarreal is too big, especially in two games. We turn to Osijek, which for us as the final, will not be easy, but we have to focus. We showed a level we can be proud of, but we have to improve," said Dambrauskas.

"A big thank you to the fans for their support during and after the match. It's a big responsibility. I'm not afraid to say it, and I know it sounds like a cliché, but we really have the best fans in Europe. We really do. Someone compares us to Napoli and Marseille, but we are not even the first in Croatia, we do not play in the European League nor the Conference League, and we have such support. The players and we are very proud to have this kind of support."

To follow the latest sports news in Croatia, follow TCN's dedicated page.

Friday, 12 August 2022

Favorite Memories in Croatia: From Teenage Hvar Summers to World Cup 2018

August 12, 2022 - How does one choose their favorite memories in Croatia? It's impossible, but there are certainly a few highlights. 

I've been reflecting a lot on my time spent in Croatia, from visiting every summer from California growing up to finally moving here in 2015. And the two worlds couldn't be more different. 

My homeland, where my parents were born, always carried a sense of wonder - a sense of escape. And moving here by accident in 2015 has allowed me to dive deep into the country of my roots - witnessing the ins and out of a country I now know better than America, where I was born and raised. 

While there are too many memorable moments to recap over the last few decades, some, in particular, hold a special place in my heart. 

Croatia in 1996

I recently wrote about my memories of Croatia in 1996, the first time I visited the country at just five years old. It was my first time outside of America, my first time meeting many of my foreign family members, and the first real family vacation I took with my parents and older brother. It was an exploration of a new place, one that had just seen war, and a journey through a culture I only knew then in my Croatian-Californian confines. It was an eye-opening adventure through familiar yet new flavors, navigating a language I had hardly spoken, and how those little things don't matter when surrounded by fresh faces with the same bloodline. Croatia in 1996 was likely not the best time to visit, as blown-out tanks decorated the highways and the image of war was still raw - but it certainly paved my love for the homeland I had known until then only through my grandmother's lullabies. 

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Weddings in Metković

Croatian weddings are unique, but weddings in Metković are extra. I had my first Croatian wedding experience in 2004 when my uncle and his longtime partner tied the knot. Considering I was staying at their family home that summer, I was involved in every part of the Croatian wedding experience, including the traditionally male-only bachelor's party (er, fešta), complete with an endless flow of Karlovačko kegs. Croatian weddings are an all-day event, which starts early in the day at the groom's family home, then over to the bride's home, then to the church, then back to one of their homes, before a caravan of cars drives to the reception venue, where you'll continue eating, drinking, and dancing until 6 am (don't worry, you've already been going since noon). A marathon event I first learned about at 14 - Metković weddings are the best. 

IMG_7377-metko.jpegFirst summer on Hvar in 2007

It was surprising I hadn't visited the island until 2007, considering that my grandmother is from Stari Grad and my extended Croatian-Californian family never missed a summer in Hvar town. In a way, I'm glad I didn't visit Hvar until my teenage years - and that first visit included my best friend from California. Taxi boat, beach, eat, party, sleep, repeat was the routine that started that summer on Hvar and lasted until the visits in my early 20s. From Kiva Bar and Nautika to former nightclub Veneranda and watching the sunrise from our apartment balcony. It was teenage bliss. Summer on Hvar looks a bit different now, but I wouldn't trade Hvar's nightlife in 2007 for anything. 

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Sailing the Adriatic Coast 

The first time I properly sailed the Adriatic was in 2018, hosting a group of 35 Americans on a luxury yacht for a week from Trogir to Dubrovnik. I had sailed between islands before, but never in one shot or one-week-long journey - which is something I believe everyone in Croatia should experience. We sailed from Trogir to Pučišća on Brač, from Brač to Hvar, Hvar to Korčula, and finally to Mljet and Dubrovnik, exploring the magic of each island, cave, cove, and bay in between. Seeing the Adriatic Coast from this perspective cannot be compared to day trips or short visits - it's an all-encompassing experience of the Adriatic, its beauty, culture, cuisine, and customs, with no room to escape. Sailing allows you to embrace every aspect of the country - and when it's as amazing as Croatia, you'll want to dive straight in. 

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World Cup 2018

I recently published about the realities of being a female football journalist in Croatia and mentioned that even with Croatia making it to the 2018 World Cup final in Russia, I couldn't imagine being anywhere but Split or Croatia during that tournament. One of those things you never think you'll get to experience in your lifetime, especially when it seemed like that 1998 bronze medal would be our most significant achievement. From Nigeria to start and France in the final, Croatia was electric that summer - a nation united. I get chills thinking back to those nail-biting finishes, watching them from the fan zone in Split's Dardin Park. There were endless screams, tears, hugs, disbelief, and WTF moments. And countless celebrations. Croatia, that summer of 2018, was magic. 

 

Anything at Poljud Stadium

Literally, anything. And I've got to see a lot of games since moving here in 2015. While any Croatian derby is a must, you won't be able to compare watching Hajduk play Dinamo in Split, and you can always expect a sold-out crowd. European games are the only games that come close, and watching Wayne Rooney's Everton at Poljud was extra special. I can't wait to see what it will be like against Villarreal. And then there was the Croatian Cup, which Hajduk won for the first time since 2013, resulting in beautiful chaos on the pitch and into a party that was carried onto the Riva. And let's not forget the Croatia national team's return to Poljud, hosting Portugal and France in the last few years and beating Russia for a spot in the 2022 World Cup. If you have a chance to go to Poljud, no matter the match, don't miss the chance. 

 

For more, make sure to check out our dedicated lifestyle section.

 

Tuesday, 7 June 2022

8th Croatian Football Federation Executive Board Session Held in Solin

June 7, 2022 - The 8th Croatian Football Federation Executive Board session was held in Solin on Monday, at which a decision was made on the names of men's football competitions in the upcoming season.

On Monday, the Croatian Football Federation Executive Board met in Solin ahead of the UEFA League of Nations match between Croatia and France at Poljud, reports HNS.

A decision was made that the highest level of competition in men's football will again be called the Croatian Football League, while the second, third, and fourth levels will be called, respectively, the First Football League, the Second Football League, and the Third Football League. Subsequently, it is possible to add to these names the name of the title sponsor of each level of competition.

"We wanted to single out the first stage of the competition and give additional importance to the lower stages of the competition, so we considered several solutions. In the end, we decided to return the first stage of the competition to its original and recognizable name, Croatian Football League, which has become common among fans, in public, and in the media, which we have witnessed in recent years when the name was the First League, but we all said that it is ours - HNL.

In this way, we paid tribute to the history and recognition of the HNL while avoiding international expressions such as "premier" or "elite," which have no tradition in Croatian football. We have also emphasized second, third, and fourth level clubs. Furthermore, we will continue to strengthen all marketing, promotional and commercial aspects," said HNS President Marijan Kustić.

The Executive Board also accepted the decision on distributing funds from the TV rights contract, whereby the largest part will go to the clubs of the Croatian Football League - 9.33 million euros. The rest of the funds will be directed to the First Football League, 1st ŽNL, 1st HMNL, HNK for youth, HNK for women, and HNK in indoor soccer.

The Executive Board determined the participants in the competition from the first to the third level, i.e., the qualification for the First and Second Football Leagues.

The new Ordinance on Football Competitions, the Ordinance on Club Cooperation, the Licensing Report for the Competition Year 2022/23, the Report on the Organization of Football Camps in Australia and the USA, and the document Basics of Veteran Football were adopted.

The Executive Board also decided to purchase artificial grass needed to build seven more lawns in counties across the country.

For more, make sure to check out our dedicated sports section

Monday, 6 June 2022

UEFA Nations League: Croatia and France Draw at Poljud (1:1)

June 6, 2022 - Croatia and France draw at Poljud in the 2nd round of the UEFA Nations League at Poljud on Monday. 

Croatia and France met for the 2nd round of the Nations League on Monday at Poljud Stadium in Split. Croatia opened this year's Nations League with a shock 0:3 defeat to Austria in Osijek. France also lost their opening match against Denmark 1:2. 

Both Croatia and France were weakened due to injuries. Croatia was without Ivan Perišič, Marko Livaja, Joško Gvardiol, and Petar Musa. For France, Mbappe, Benzema, Kante, and Coman did not properly train with the team last night. Croatia, however, has yet to beat France. 

As coach Zlatko Dalić said at the press conference last night, France even without their usual stars is still France - and even their B team is a force to be reckoned with. 

Tonight is also Croatia captain Luka Modrić's 150th appearance for the Croatia national team. He made his debut on March 1, 2006, in Croatia's 3:2 victory against Argentina. Luka has scored 21 goals in 149 games so far, participated in three World Cups and four European Championships, and has been the team captain since 2016.

Lineups

Croatia: Livaković, Juranović, Erlić, Vida, Barišić, Brozović, Kovačić, Modrić, Majer, Brekalo, Budimir

France: Maignan, Pavard, Saliba, Kimpembe, Digne, Guendouzi, Tchouaméni, Diaby, Rabiot, Nkunku, Ben Yedder

Match Report

Croatia maintained possession for the first five minutes of the match, with a few potential attacks in the penalty area. Croatia's first corner came in the 6th minute. Luka played short to Brekalo, who played back to Luka and then Majer for a shot off target. 

France picked up the pace in the next 5 minutes and had their first corner in the 10th minute. 

Juranović headed out a close encounter for France for their second corner of the match in the 12th minute. Kovačić played Budimir into the penalty spot the minute after which was cleared by the France defense. 

Croatia's defense was solid tonight in comparison to the debacle last weekend in Osijek. Calm, collected, and without any mishaps so far. 

Croatia's best chance of the match came in the 18th minute - Kovačić played a brilliant through ball to Budimir who shot near post forcing a tricky save for the France keeper. The ball went out for a corner. 

France had another chance in the 23rd minute which was shot wide. 

A minute later a breakaway for Kovačić saw him fouled outside the box. The ref decided to play advantage for Croatia instead, and France won back possession. 

Lovro Majer was fouled in France's half which the ref did not call. France then pushed up the pitch and scored an offside goal in the 31st minute. 

Croatia was awarded a free kick in the 33rd minute but Vida was offside.  

Livakovic made a brilliant save after Vida let Diaby get a shot off in the 39th minute - and another save moments after that. France had another corner in the 40th minute and another two corners three minutes later. Croatia's defense had no problem clearing the play. 

One minute of stoppage time was added to the first half. The match was 0:0. 

The second half started without any substitutions. 

Lovro Majer sent a stunning pass through the France defense, which found Ante Budimir's head, but the ball went wide of the goal. 

But it was France to score first. Rabiot made it 0:1 in the 52nd minute. 

Croatia moved the ball nicely into France's half in the 57th minute and was dangerous in front of the France keeper but could not get a shot off.  

Juranović found Budimir at the top of the box and played it back to Brozovic who couldn't find his footing to shoot. 

France subbed off Ben Yedder for Griezmann, and Kamara for Tchouameni. For Croatia, Majer came off for Pasalic and Brekalo for Orsic. 

Budimir was fouled just outside the box in the 63rd minute which the ref allowed them to play on. 

Dalic subbed off Budimir for Kramaric in the 68th minute.

Luka had a great chance in the 70th minute. He cut back to his left foot to shoot on target, forcing the France keeper to make a diving save.  

Livakovic made a brilliant save in the 75th minute to ensure the match stayed 0:1.

Luka Modric was subbed off for Luka Sucic and Mateo Kovacic for Nikola Vlasic in the 78th minute. 

Croatia had another chance in the 80th minute which was ultimately called for a penalty thanks to VAR. Kramaric made it 1:1 in the 82nd minute!

Vlasic shot on target in the 86th minute forcing the ball out for a corner. A Croatia mishap in the defense almost cost them the match two minutes later, but Griezmann shot wide of an empty goal. 

The ref added 4 minutes of stoppage time to the match in which neither team was able to score - though Sucic had a great chance. The match ended 1:1. 

Croatia plays Denmark next in Copenhagen on Friday, June 10. 

For more, make sure to check out our dedicated sports section

Sunday, 5 June 2022

France and Croatia Press Conferences Held Ahead of UEFA Nations League at Poljud

June 5, 2022 - France and Croatia press conferences were held at Poljud Stadium on Sunday ahead of the UEFA Nations League match on Monday in Split. 

The France captain for tomorrow's match, Presnel Kimpembe, and France coach Didier Deschamps opened the press conference at Poljud. 

Who will be the France captain? How will you play an exhausted Griezmann?

"Kimpembe will be the captain, no doubt about it. As for Griezmann, I will not judge him by one game as you do. At the end of the season, the situation is complicated for everyone. But, both for us and for Croatia, not everyone is fresh, that is clear."

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Will the tactics change because you are without some of your big players? 

"We have to give a chance to other players. For example, Lloris is the main goalkeeper, but we must also give Mike Maignan a chance to play. We planned to change before, and there are no surprising changes."

Will Mbappe play against Croatia?

"We have not given up on Mbappe for the match, We have five injured players, including Benzema. We will see who will be ready for the match."

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How do you see this rejuvenated Croatia?

"It should be noted that Croatia started the game well, but Austria was fresher. We are used to playing against Croatia and I hope that the game will be positive for us."

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France held a training session in which four players trained on a stationary bike, while the others practiced on the pitch. Mbappe, Kounde, Kante, and Coman trained on stationary bikes, while Benzema ran laps around the pitch. 

Coach Zlatko Dalić and captain Luka Modrić opened the press conference for Croatia. Luka was asked questions first: 

"We did not expect that defeat against Austria. It was a tough defeat for us. We need to look forward and not calculate too much and be depressed about it. We have France tomorrow. It's never nice to lose but maybe it's good to lose sometimes to see where our mistakes are. It's not easy to win when we aren't at our best. We will see tomorrow.

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We need to be focused. We know a tough game awaits us. We know our record against France isn't great. We are still waiting for a win. We need to believe that we can win. It'll be a full Poljud. We need to use that as a motive and turn around that losing streak. 

We know it's tough for everyone at the end of the season. It's not easy to play 4 games in 11 days in the Nations League. You are put in that situation and you need to pull through. Maybe these games would be better played in a mini-tournament instead of like this. But this is how it is. We need to be maximally focused, give our all, and do all that we can. That's how we have been preparing for tomorrow."

What about playing against Benzema?

"We both feel amazing. Everything we have done this year is amazing. Winning the 5th Champions League title is incredible. Benzema and I haven't spoken about this game yet. I just hope he won't be in the same form as he has been for tomorrow's game."

Coach Zlatko Dalić took the floor. 

"It was not a good loss. We didn't expect that against Austria. All of my losses have been in the Nations League, but we need to keep our heads up and see what we can do. We want to make up for the loss against Austria. 

Belgium, France, England, and Croatia all lost in the first round of the Nations League. Even with France playing without some of their starters tomorrow, their second team is incredible. They will always be amazing - we need to make sure we are. Every game for Croatia is important. We want to stay in the Elite Nations League."

For more, make sure to check out our dedicated sports section

Thursday, 26 May 2022

Croatian Cup Final: Hajduk Beats Rijeka for First Trophy in 9 Years!

May 26, 2022 - Hajduk beat Rijeka 3:1 in the Croatian Cup final on Thursday at Poljud for their first trophy in 9 years!

Hajduk and Rijeka met in the Croatian Cup final tonight at a sold-out Poljud Stadium in Split. 

Interestingly, in all four Croatian Championship matches this season, Rijeka was more successful at Poljud (1:2 and 1:3), and Hajduk fought back at Rujevica, winning 2:3 last fall and 0:3 a few weeks ago. 

Rijeka last won the Cup two years ago, while Hajduk had been waiting for any trophy for nine years, last winning the Cup in 2013. 

Rijeka and Hajduk have won the Cup six times in independent Croatia.

Lineups

HAJDUK: L. Kalinić, Mikanović, Ferro, Elez, Melnjak, Fossati, Grgić, Sahiti, Krovinović, Mlakar, Livaja; Hajduk was without Nikola Kalinić due to a virus. 

RIJEKA: Labrović - Krešić, Velkovski, Smolčić - Ampem, Selahi, Čerin, Vukčević - Pavičić - Obregon, Drmić

Recap

Hajduk showed they were hungry already in the first two minutes of the match, maintaining possession with Melnjak taking the first shot on goal. Livaja shot over the crossbar a minute later. 

Rijeka found their rhythm in the next few minutes and pushed up into Hajduk's half. Hajduk had a good chance from a free kick in the 8th minute which Melnjak headed over the post. 

While Hajduk had the chances it was Rijeka to capitalize on theirs first. A breakaway for Drmić and a goal for 1:0 Rijeka. 

Hajduk had their first corner in the 16th minute and continued to push into Rijeka's half. Krovinović just missed the goal in the 20th minute. 

Hajduk had another corner a minute later. And another in the 23rd minute. Ferro equalized for Hajduk for 1:1 in the 24th minute! 

The match was back and forth for the next 5 minutes. Rijeka had a dangerous free kick in the 31st minute which deflected off of Hajduk’s defense and into Kalinić’s hands. 

Melnjak was found in the penalty area in the 33rd minute, though his shot deflected for another Hajduk corner. And then Melnjak finally got his chance - he scored for 1:2 Hajduk in the 36th minute! 

Smolcic was shown his second yellow in the 41st minute, forcing Rijeka to play with a man down for the remainder of the match. It was 1:2 for Hajduk at halftime. 

Hajduk had their first corner of the second half already in the 47th minute. And another in the 51st. The match was back and forth for the next 5 minutes until a tragic Rijeka mistake in the defense helped Melnjak to his second goal of the match for 1:3 Hajduk!

Another corner for Hajduk in the 60th minute - they were beginning to outclass Rijeka now. 

Mlakar was subbed off for Colina and Vukovic for Grgic as Hajduk's first subs 61st minute. 

Rijeka subbed off Lepinjica for Selahi and Muric for Pavicic a minute later. 

Livaja had a super chance in the 67th minute which went out for a corner. He was hungry to score. Another breakaway for Livaja moments later went over the post. 

Hajduk dominated for the next 10 minutes, leaving Rijeka without much of a chance to attack.  

Rijeka's first real chance of the second half came in the 80th minute but they shot over the goal. 

Sahiti was subbed off for Biuk moments later. 

Biuk forced a corner on his first touch in the 82nd minute. Livaja weakly shot to keep it 1:3 for Hajduk. 

Rijeka had a. corner in the 84th minute and Stanic was subbed off for Cerin. 

The match came to a halt in the 90th minute as Rijeka's fans launched flares into the VIP section. And the match came to an end - Hajduk is the Croatian Cup champion! 

For more, make sure to check out our dedicated sports section

Sunday, 1 May 2022

Hajduk and Shakhtar Donetsk Play 'Football for Peace' Humanitarian Friendly in Split

May 1, 2022 -  Hajduk and Shakhtar Donetsk played a humanitarian friendly match at Poljud on Sunday under the theme 'Football for Peace'.

The goal of the match is to raise funds to help orphaned children in war-torn Ukraine who now need accommodation in Croatia.

Tickets were 30 kuna while a donation line is also open to call until May 15. The number is 0609006. A call center was set up at Poljud's White Salon on Sunday, where many celebrities answered the phones, from athletes to actors, singers, current first-team players, veterans, and members of the club's Management Board. A special guest is UEFA President Alexander Ceferin.

Hajduk's new home jersey was also officially presented for the first time at the friendly match. 

 Since this is a humanitarian meeting aimed at raising funds to help orphans in war-torn Ukraine, Hajduk put the first 12 jerseys up for auction, and all funds will be donated to the humanitarian action.

The club will publish two jerseys from Hajduk's first-team players every day on the club's official Facebook page. Bids can be left in the comments below the post with the winner being the highest bidder. Each of these jerseys will be signed by the player whose jersey is up for auction. The auction ends on May 7.

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Before the match, HRT spoke to Hajduk president Lukša Jakobušić and former Croatia national team captain and Shakhtar legend Darijo Srna.

"I would like to immediately thank the President of Hajduk for this great gesture. I never dreamed we would play this kind of game today. However, it is life, we have to deal with it, and we have to fight it. Many thanks to them, many thanks to the fans, Croatia, Split, Dalmatia. This is a great honor for us and once again a huge thank you to Hajduk. Two months ago, when I talked to the president he said ‘Darijo, send all the children, we will take them all. We’ve been through it all, we know what it means to help at this point. Believe me, me personally, my club, and the whole of Ukraine will never forget this from Hajduk," said the former Vatreni captain and the legend of the Split club. Srna is the current sports director of Shakhtar.

"In our DNA is defiance of the powerful and protection of the weak. We in this area know what trouble is, we know what war is and the least we can do is help. We help as much as we can, we know what Darijo did for Croatia and Hajduk. Out of respect for him and the children, we will try to help them at least a little," said Jakobušić.

Lineups for Sunday's friendly match

HAJDUK: Posavec, Fossati, Elez, Lovrencsics, Biuk, Zulić, Lazar, Letaj, Bradarić, Jakir, Ljubičić
Bench: Subašić, Fesyuk, Simić, Pukštas, Čuić, Brajković, Krolo, Nazor, Zubanović, Jurak, Grgić, Hrvojević, Petrović, Vrcić

SHAKHTAR Pyatov, Matviienko, Korniienko, Bondarenko, Marlon, Stepanenko, Konoplia, Sudakov, Topalov, Mudryk, Solomon
Bench: Shevchenko, Puzankov, Trubin, Rakytskyi, Farina, Bondar, Buleza, Udod, Stasyuk, Drambaev, Kapinus, Chekh, Myshnyov, Shostak, Siheev, Kryskiv, Khromel, Boirachuk

Marin Ljubičić scored the first goal of the match for Hajduk in the 10th minute for 1:0, which was the score going into halftime. 

Franjo Lazar scored an early goal in the second half for 2:0 going into the 49th minute. Anel Zulić was subbed off for Zubanović in the 50th minute. 

In the 57th minute, Hajduk subbed off Marco Fossati for Rokas Pukstas, Josip Elez for Stefan Simic, and Franjo Lazar for Luka Jurak. 

Dmytro Topalov scored for 2:1 in the 59th minute and Petro Stasiuk equalized for 2:2 in the 74th minute! But Hajduk's Marin Ljubičić made it 3:2 with 10 minutes to go.

Boriachuk scored during stoppage time for the final 3:3! 

To read more about sports in Croatia, follow TCN’s dedicated page

Tuesday, 26 April 2022

Football for Peace: Hajduk and Shakhtar Donetsk Playing Friendly Match at Poljud

April 26, 2022 - Hajduk and Shakhtar Donetsk will play a friendly match on Sunday to raise money for Ukrainian war refugees. 

Under the theme "Football for Peace", Hajduk and Ukrainian club Shakhtar Donetsk will play a humanitarian friendly match at Poljud on Sunday, May 1. The goal of the match is to raise funds to help children left without parents in war-torn Ukraine who now need accommodation in the Republic of Croatia.

"HNK Hajduk has already given its training grounds to coaches, staff, and over 80 Ukrainian children who were taken care of in Split, and we are especially glad that they will be able to watch their first team players again during this match," said Hajduk on its official website

The Hajduk - Shakhtar match is scheduled for Sunday, May 1, at 3 pm, and the unique ticket price is 30 kuna. In addition to buying tickets, you can also help by calling a special donor number, which will be published a few days before the game.

Tickets can be purchased at the following points of sale:

- Online at ulaznice.hajduk.hr

- Membership Department at Poljud - every working day from 8 am to 8 pm

- Hajduk Fan shop Joker

- Ticketshop outlets (Tisak Media)

- Ticket booths around the stadium on the day of the match

The first of two humanitarian matches to be played in Croatia will be played in Zagreb between Dinamo and Dynamo Kyiv on Thursday, April 28, starting at 6 pm. Maksimir Stadium will be open to spectators in the west lower and north lower stands. GNK Dinamo will play in the combined lineup of the first and second teams.

Ticket prices for the Dinamo - Dynamo Kyiv humanitarian match: tribune north lower 50 kuna and tribune west lower 50 kuna.

All proceeds from the tickets will go to the Kyiv club, which will distribute the money to Ukrainian refugees.

Ukrainian nationals who are in Croatia due to the war and want to come to the match can pick up their free ticket by presenting an ID. 

To follow the latest sports news in Croatia, follow TCN's dedicated page.

Saturday, 23 April 2022

SuperSport Croatian Football Cup Final Ticket Sales Announced

April 23, 2022 - HNK Rijeka and HNK Hajduk will meet in the final of this season's SuperSport Croatian Football Cup on May 26 at Poljud Stadium. 

The SuperSport Croatian Football Cup final will be played on May 26 at Poljud Stadium, starting at 7 p.m. Tickets for the match between Rijeka and Hajduk will be available at the following prices through the finalist clubs, reports HNS

Tribune North: 90 kuna
Tribune South: 90 kuna
Tribune East: 120 kuna
Tribune West: 150 kuna

Tickets for fans of the finalist clubs (20% of the stadium capacity for fans of each club) will be available directly through the clubs, while ticket sales to the public (50% of the stadium capacity) will be organized by the technical host at Poljud Stadium, HNK Hajduk.

Ticket sales for sectors intended for Hajduk fans
From Monday, April 25, the club's subscribers will have the right of first refusal for the sectors reserved for HNK Hajduk fans.

Hajduk subscribers can buy tickets online, at the Membership Department at Poljud (weekdays from 8 am to 8 pm and on Saturday, April 30, from 8 am to 2 pm), at the Hajduk Fan Shop at Joker (every day from 9 am to 9 pm) and at Ticketshop (Tisak media) points of sale until April 30 at 11:59 pm.

More details are on the official Hajduk website.

Ticket sales for sectors intended for Rijeka fans

Sectors A, B, C, and D will be available for Rijeka fans at the following prices:

Sector A: 90 kuna
Sector B: 120 kuna
Sector C and D: 150 kuna

Ticket sales start on Wednesday, April 27, and the HNK Rijeka box office will be open from Wednesday to May 2 from 4 pm to 9 pm and on Saturday from 9 am to 1 pm. From May 2, the opening hours of the box office will be Monday through Friday from 4 to 9 pm.

To buy tickets, you need to present a personal document with a photo and there will be no online ticket sales for the sectors intended for Rijeka fans.

More details can be found on the official Rijeka website

Ticket sales for the public sector
Ticket sales will begin on May 2 at 8 pm. Tickets will be available on the website ulaznice.hajduk.hr, at the Membership Department at Poljud (every working day from 8 am to 8 pm), at the Hajduk Fan shop at Joker (every day from 9 am to 9 pm), and at Ticketshop sales points Tisak media

To follow the latest sports news in Croatia, follow TCN's dedicated page.

Wednesday, 20 April 2022

Hajduk Tops Dinamo 1:0 at Poljud, Stays in Fight for Croatian Championship Title!

April 20, 2022 - Hajduk and Dinamo met in the biggest Croatian derby at Poljud Stadium tonight in Split, the makeup 9th round match which was meant to be played at the end of last year. Hajduk's 1:0 victory tonight keeps them in the fight for the Croatian championship title! 

Hajduk and Dinamo met tonight for the third time this season, making up the 9th-round match scheduled for the end of last year. In the 18th round, Hajduk won 2:0 at Maksimir, and in the 27th round at the end of March in Split, it ended 0:0. These two rivals will meet again in the last 36th round at Maksimir on May 21. 

The stakes in today's game were exceptionally high for Hajduk, who needed a victory to stay in the race for the Croatian championship title. Defeat would leave Hajduk 10 points behind Dinamo, which was at the top going into the match with 66 points. Hajduk was in third place with 59 points, while Osijek has 64 points.

Hajduk sold 29,000 tickets by Tuesday, and more than 2,500 Hajduk fans gathered at the Poljud training ground on Monday to announce their support for the Split club.

Lineups

HAJDUK: L.Kalinić, Mikanović, Ferro, Elez, Melnjak, Vuković, Krovinović, Fossati, Mlakar, Livaja, N.Kalinić

DINAMO: Livaković, Theophile, Šutalo, Lauritsen, Ristovski, Mišić, Ademi, Petković, Gojak, Emreli, Oršić

Recap

Dinamo was the first to attack with a corner in the 2nd minute, which Kalinic saved. Emreli went down in the penalty area from the play, which brought the game to a halt for nearly 5 minutes. 

Tensions were high in the first 10 minutes, with loud shouts to the ref from Hajduk fans. A dangerous free-kick was awarded to Hajduk in the 10th minute, which Krovinovic took just outside the box. However, Dinamo's defense was solid to clear it. 

Nikola Kalinic pressured Livakovic in the 13th minute, which forced him to clear the ball. Hajduk got their first corner a minute later. After back and forth in front of Dinamo's goal, it eventually ended in Livakovic's hands. 

Hajduk fans were constantly whistling against the ref, who seemed to be calling more for Dinamo in the first 20 minutes. Dinamo pressured Hajduk's defense in the 21st minute and was awarded their second corner of the match. Hajduk's defense cleared it.

Melnjak and Lauritsen had a nasty collision during the corner, which ended in bandaged heads for them. The match finally resumed after another 5-minute injury break. 

After another collision between Livaja and Petkovic, Melnajk decided he could no longer continue, and Colina was brought on as Hajduk's first substitution in the 31st minute. 

Foul after foul, the match slowly went on.  

Hajduk picked up the intensity in the 36th minute and almost had a chance on Dinamo's empty goal, but Livakovic made it back in time for the save. 

Dambrauskas' assistant Skinderis was sent off with a red car for mouthing to the ref in the 40th minute. To say that tensions were high at this point would be an understatement. 

With so many fouls, there was hardly any rhythm in the game for either team. As a result, ten minutes of stoppage time was added to the first half. 

Hajduk was awarded a corner in the 4th minute of stoppage time, but Krovinovic ultimately shot wide of the far post. Dinamo attacked in the next play, which was cleared out for a throw-in by Hajduk's defense. 

Livaja nearly had a one-on-one with Livakovic, but Dinamo's defense double-teamed him to stop the attack.

The first half ended 0:0 with 50/50 possession and Hajduk's 2 shots on target to Dinamo's 0.

The second half started without any changes. Vukovic had two shots within a minute which were both cleared by the Dinamo defense. Mlakar shot at Livakovic minute later. 

Dinamo attacked in the next play but Emreli shanked over the goal. Dinamo subbed on Ivanusec for Gojak in the 54th minute. 

Hajduk had another brilliant chance in front of the goal in the 55th minute. Livaja sent the ball into the near post but it was saved by the Dinamo defense. 

Petkovic and Orsic were essentially neutralized by the Hajduk defense in the match so far. 

Orsic tried shooting from 30 meters but hit high over the post in the 61st minute.

Hajduk was hungrier this half which ultimately ended in a goal. Nikola Kalinic hit a far-post rocket into the back of Dinamo's net for 1:0 in the 63rd minute! 

Dinamo made another sub in the 66th minute - Spikic was subbed on for Ristovski. 

Dinamo picked up the pace in the 5 minutes that followed. Kalinic's fingertips saved the day from Dinamo equalizing in the 69th minute, sending it out for a corner. 

Dinamo subbed again in the 74th - Tolic came on for Misic, and Hajduk subbed off Vukovic for Sahiti. 

Livaja shot wide of the far post in the 77th minute, as did Tolic for Dinamo one minute later. 

In the 84th minute, Hajduk subbed off Colina for Simic and Nikola Kalinic for Lovrencsics. Dambrauskas was making a defensive decision with 5 minutes left. 

Livaja was shown a yellow card in the 88th-minute meaning he'll miss the next match against Belupo.  

Six minutes of stoppage time was added to the end of the match. Dinamo had a dangerous chance in the next minute with Kalinic's save going out for a corner. 

Livaja was one-on-one again with Dinamo's last defender and sent the ball to Mlakar who shot over the goal. Neither team was able to score in the time that remained...

The match ended 1:0 for Hajduk! 

To follow the latest sports news in Croatia, follow TCN's dedicated page.

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